AOL Begins Shutdown Of AOL Pictures, BlueString And Xdrive

Michael Arrington
Friday, October 24, 2008; 2:19 PM

In July we wrote about AOL's plans to shutter a number of services based on an internal email from EVP Products and Marketing Kevin Conroy.

Next week, AOL says, they'll begin to communicate the news to consumers around the shutdown of three of those properties - AOL Pictures, BlueString and Xdrive.

AOL Pictures will close in December, and users will have the chance to move photos to American Greetings PhotoWorks, download photos to a personal computer, or purchase an archive of photos on DVD. Photos will be available until June 2009.

XDrive and Bluestring will close on December 31. Users can download files or purchase a DVD until that time. After that, it sounds like the files will be deleted.

MyMobile, which is still in beta, will also likely be shut down by end of year.

A FAQ is reprinted below.

AOL Pictures

Q. When will the AOL Pictures service close?

A. The AOL Pictures service will continue until December 31, 2008. After this date, the service will close down and all photos stored will no longer be accessible through AOL Pictures. However, users will still be able to retrieve their images through our online photo service partner, American Greetings PhotoWorks, after registering for a free American Greetings PhotoWorks account. Users must register for an American Greetings PhotoWorks account by June 30, 2009 to transition their assets.

Q. When/how will users be notified?

A. Anyone who has stored photos on AOL Pictures will receive a series of emails from AOL beginning the week of October 27, 2008 and continuing until the site closes in December.

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